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top 20 superstition

Updated on June 11, 2013

Superstition is the belief that one event causes the occurrence of another without any physical link to both events. The origin of superstitions can be traced back to several centuries ago when our ancestors tried to explain the mysterious occurrence of events given the limited scientific knowledge that existed. Here is a list of the top 20 superstitions chosen based on how ridiculous, widespread and comical they are.

20. Fish dreams means that you or someone close to you is having a baby soon.

This is a very interesting superstition. Grandmothers call up their daughters when they have this sort of dreams asking if they are pregnant and ladies (in some cases men) become expectant after having a fish dream. You may call it mere mysticism, but look around you will find a handful of people that have conceived after having a fish dream.

19. If your ear is ringing someone is talking about you.

The origin of this superstition dates back to 2000 years ago. Even though medical science has provided an explanation to the possible causes of ringing ear (Tinnitus), this superstition still creates paranoia in many because it gets people wondering who could be gossiping about them.

18. Sunshine and Rain at the same time: A tiger is giving birth.

A Sun shower which is a rare meteorological phenomenon has a wide range of mythical stories surrounding it across different cultures. In Nigeria, the occurrence of a sun shower means a tiger is giving birth. while in Korea see it as a symbol of marriage between a male tiger and a fox. Eritrean traditional belief thinks it’s a hyena rather than a tiger that is giving birth.

17. If you break a mirror, you will have 7 years of bad luck.

If you are wondering why you have never won a lottery you may want to check your life and see how many mirrors you have broken. People believed that the mirror not only contained a reflection of a person’s image, but also their soul. Hence, a broken mirror (body and soul) represents events that will make you sad. Interestingly, the remedy to avoid a string of bad lucks spanning over seven years is to bury the broken mirror exactly 7 hours after it was shattered.

16. It’s bad luck to cross a black cat’s path.

This is another timeless myth that is believed across multiple cultures. In the middle ages, black cats were first associated with witches in Europe. Other cultures believe that witches transformed themselves into black cats at night, so they could be effective. You don’t get something good after an encounter with a witch, do you?

15. Never buy your boyfriend or husband shoes as a gift. He’ll walk out your life with them.

This superstition is quite a contentious one. Many women will argue they have had a lasting relationship despite the numerous shoes they have bought for their, while others will tell you things got bad and he left me as soon as I got him a shoe.

14. Girls are carried high; boys are carried low.

This myth is used to predict the gender of a baby during pregnancy. Doctors have proven that this superstition is untrue, citing muscle tone and the position of the baby in the uterus as the factors responsible for the position of the pregnancy. I think it’s fun to predict the gender of an unborn child with seemingly legit facts.

13. Friday the 13th brings bad luck

This superstition originated from the story in the bible where Judas who was assigned the post of a betrayer happened to be the 13th guest to the last Supper.

12. Step on a crack, break your mother’s back

It is believed that this myth came from the children rhyme “Step on a crack and your mother will turn black” which over time changed into what it is today.

11. It's Bad Luck To Open An Umbrella Indoors

This myth is based on the belief that opening an umbrella inside out prevents the sun god from offering rays to us. Centuries ago when the purpose of the umbrella was to act as a sunshade, opening an umbrella inside a building it was seen as a direct insult to the sun, which was revered in many societies. According to stories, the sun ends up punishing all the inhabitants of the building.

10. Walking under a ladder brings bad luck

There are numerous folklores surrounding the myth, but the most popular one is that a ladder forms a triangle (three sides) that represents the trinity when leaning against a wall. With the number three being so sacred at that time, Christians saw it as an act of disrespect to God.

9. If you lick the head of a bald man he dies

The history behind this Swazi myth is not clear, but one thing is certain ESPN Presspass provided a myth buster when Tommy Smyth worked out of the studio alive after Dan Thomas licked his bald head on set.

8. Don’t bend over and look through your legs in public, you may see witches.

I heard this Nigerian myth a lot when I was a kid. Believers of this myth say that if you bend over and look through your legs in public you may notice some persons standing on their heads- such persons are witches.

7. Don’t whistle at night, you will invite Witches

This myth originates from the belief that witches are roaming around at night. Whistling is believed as one of those things that could invite witches in the neighbourhood.

6. Blowing into an empty glass bottle

I have heard a lot of people say "If you do that long enough you will go into it. Its just not done so stop that if you know what's good for you." I love this one because blowing into an empty glass bottle produces an annoying sound.

5. The number Four in Japan

The number 4 is an unlucky number in Japan the same way 13 is widely associated with hard luck in North America. The number 4 is pronounced the same as the word for death (“Shi”) in Japanese language. A Japanese person will find a gift consisting of 4 parts or pieces. Japanese hotels and Hospitals usually will not have a room numbered 4.

4. Never put a hat on a bed

Until static electricity became widely understood, it was believed that evil spirits who resided in your hair got into your hat. People would remove their hats in warm dry climates and their hair would stand up. So it was believed that the demons were getting into your hat. Hence, if you place your hat on your bed the evil spirits will get transferred from the hat to the bed and into your body when you are asleep.

3. Don’t do laundry on New Year’s Day

If you do laundry on New Year’s Day, someone in your family will die. Others think whatever you do on this day is what you may end up doing all year long. Holidays are meant to be enjoyed!!!

2. An acorn on your windowsill

According to Norse legend, an acorn on your windowsill will prevent your house from being struck by lightning because Thor once sheltered himself from a thunderstorm underneath an oak tree.

1. Hitting a man with a broom would make him impotent

In Nigeria it is believed that if a man is hit with a broom he becomes impotent until he retaliates by hitting the person back with a broom seven times.


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